By Philip Schweier
March 27, 2019 - 05:22
The opening story is among the weakest, as Batman continues an investigation that dates back to his very first case. His results are anti-climactic. Another weak entry is “Batman’s Greatest Case,” by Tom King, in which the Bat-family gathers for reasons unknown on the anniversary of the Wayne Murder. Really? How many different ways does Batman honor his parents on that date?
But there are stronger entries in the book, such as Paul Dini’s twisty “Legend of Knute Brody,” and Kevin Smith’s “Manufactured for Use.” Longtime Bat-scribe Denny O’Neil is represented, though appreciatively NOT with Neal Adams. I know for many they are the creative team of choice, like Laurel & Hardy, so seeing them split up is an interesting treat. Kudos to DC for not going for the easy crowd pleaser.
And kudos for allowing artist Kelley Jones to FINALLY get Dick Grayson’s Robin costume right in Tynion’s, “The Precedent.” It’s a great story that touches on the Batman mythos dating back to the Dynamic Duo’s earliest pairing, while acknowledging their rich history together.
Overall, the artwork is terrific. I may be imagining things, projecting my own interests, but I see where some of the artist’s seemed to be channeling those who have come before. I detected the influences of other master artists such as Marshall Rogers and Walt Simonson. However, some of the rendering seemed a little too consistent in places, suggesting maybe the artists were following the lead of Jim Lee.
The book ends with the opening chapter of what is to come in Detective Comics #1,001. I understand that marketing demands a teaser to keep the readers interested, but I much would have preferred a self-contained issue, with the next 1,000 issues beginning next month.